Park City, Utah… a bit of heaven on earth.

I left Park City this morning as the sun was rising and drove to the Salt Lake City airport to fly to Denver. I will miss Park City – our sweet little ski condo and the most beautiful natural surroundings that I have seen in a long time. I wish we had gotten one more week to spend there – two just wasn’t enough. 

Last Sunday night Karl (our company manager) hosted a crew dinner to say goodbye to Keith Reese, our beloved head carpenter, and to say hello to Justin, our new head carpenter, who joins us from “Wicked” LA. We had a private room at Spencer’s Steakhouse, which is the restaurant adjacent to the Hilton in Salt Lake City. It was so nice to hang with everyone outside of work. We really do have the BEST crew on this show. When everyone is just relaxed and enjoys each other, it is just the best dynamic. If only we could all try harder to not let the stresses of the show get the better of us and get along like we did on Sunday night all the time! I hope we can have get togethers like that one more often, I think it really did enforce the fact that we are all a team and a family – it wouldn’t hurt to be reminded of that more often.

It was dark in Spencer’s, so my pictures came out kind of crappy, but here’s a couple of good ones:

Wayne, Fran and Roy - our wardrobe dept.

Wayne, Fran and Roy - our wardrobe dept.

Elaine,  Suzanne and Mitchell - our hair dept.

Elaine, Suzanne and Mitchell - our hair dept.

The boys chowing down

The boys chowing down

I flew on Monday to Sunnyvale for a short visit with my family. My youngest brother, Simon, is leaving soon for London, where he will be attending graduate school at the London School of Economics (smarty pants). Because Simon has some of the wanderlust that I do, I figured I had better make some time to see him before he left, because who knows when we will be in the same place at the same time again anytime soon. Coincidentally, my Granny is also in Sunnyvale right now visiting my family, so we decided to surprise her with my visit.

She was definitely surprised. “What are you doing here?!” was her response! It was really great to catch her by surprise – and seeing that my brother Nick had been in town that weekend, Granny also managed to see all four of her grandkids during her trip! I had lunch at home with my parents, Granny and Simon. I mostly hung out at the house in the afternoon (I love my parents’ house – its the house where I grew up – the doors are always open and the backyard is so inviting. It makes me instantly relax)…but I did sneak out for about an hour to go to a yarn shop in Los Altos called Uncommon Threads. They had a lot of beautiful yarn – mostly Rowan. I didn’t buy anything for myself, but picked up two issues of Interweave Crochet for my mom, who is trying to get back into crocheting again (see a photo of the wedding dress she made herself on Patty’s blog)

I did pick up some ribbon at Michael’s Craft Store, though, to finish off my Lacy Skirt with Bows.

We had dinner at Cicero’s, the world’s best pizza place, where I have been going since I was eight years old. My sister Becky and her husband, Dave, met us there. It was really great to see them.

Becky, Granny, Mummy, Fran

Becky, Granny, Mummy, Fran

Simon, Dave and Daddy

Simon, Dave and Daddy

Cicero's Baker's Pride - the best pizza EVER

Cicero's Baker's Pride - the best pizza EVER

After dinner, we went back to the house for some yummy tiramisu that my mom had made, and then I headed out to see my other brothers and sisters – my best friends from forever – Mary, Fin, Erika, Craig, Bryan, and Fin’s fiance, Mike (yes, fiance – CONGRATULATIONS GUYS!!!!!). We hung out at Mary’s and drank beer and watched the 49er game like no time had passed. I love those guys like family – we’ve been friends for almost twenty years now, if that’s not family, what is? My pictures from Mary’s didn’t turn out so well (Mare, you have to send me yours!), but here’s a couple of pictures of us from last summer so you can put faces with the names. 

Mary, David, me and Bryan

Mary, David, me and Bryan

Mike and Jen

Mike and Jen

Craig, Bryan and David

Craig, Bryan and David

The only person I don’t have a digital photo of is Erika (she was in Brazil last summer when the above photos were taken. Rats!). And David is living in Hawaii so we didn’t get to hang out with him the other night, but he was definitely in our thoughts! I love you guys. Mofos forever!

After breakfast with my mom and grandma on Tuesday, Simon drove me to the airport and I headed back to Salt Lake City just in time for dinner and the evening show.

On Wednesday Ryan and I drove the “Alpine Loop” through the mountains to the Sundance Resort, which is owned by Robert Redford, and p.s… is amazing. We rode the ski lift and got some great scenic pictures. The leaves are starting to turn in Utah, and the colors are just stunning. We ate lunch at the Foundry Grill and walked around the grounds before heading back to the car to complete the loop through the mountains.

Taken from the lift:

The Foundary Grill

The Foundry Grill

A little boy wading in the creek

A little boy wading in the creek

Sundance was amazing – spectacularly beautiful and peaceful. You can stay in cabins there as well as ski there, but it is also host to many creative projects as well – there is a pottery on site and a glassblower, and many paintings and photographs are on display in the gallery for sale. The Sundance Institute workshops new plays and films, and the Sundance Film Festival, which takes place in Park City in February, is a celebration of indie films. There was a quote by Robert Redford on the wall at the resort that struck both Ryan and I:

This place in the mountains, amid nature’s casualness toward death and birth, is the perfect host for the inspiration of ideas: harsh at times, life threatening in its winters of destruction, but tender in attention to the details of every petal of every wildflower resurrected in the spring. Nature and creativity obey the same laws, to the same end: life.

– Robert Redford

I think that’s maybe why I love the mountains and the ocean so much. They just put things in perspective with their size and greatness. They remind you that you are blessed to be alive.

The drive back to Salt Lake past Mount Timpaganos was equally spectacular and we were afraid we might be late getting back, but we made it to work by the skin of our teeth.

Thursday we bade goodbye to Keith Reese, our head carpenter. He’s been so kind and generous to me since I started the tour. I will miss him a lot. We all wore Hawaiian shirts in his honor.

After the show, Ryan and I went to one of the Park City local bars, the No Name Saloon, with Steve and Elaine. It was a pretty cool bar – a bit too loud, but had all sorts of interesting objects hanging from the ceiling, from a 1942 Harley, to an old-fashioned toboggan.

Friday we hit some of the outlet stores on the outskirts of Park City, and bought some new shoes. Ryan also bought a cool tie with skulls on it. We also drove through Olympic Park, although it was starting to rain, so we didn’t get out of the car. We did see the huge ski jumps though – it must be pretty amazing to see skiers jumping off them in the winter.

This past weekend, we made sure to make a stop at another of my favorite western U.S. restaurants…Rubio’s Fish Tacos!

Yum! I don’t know why it is so hard to find a good fish taco east of the Rockies!

And finally on Sunday, we said goodbye to Siobhan, one of our chorus girls, who is leaving the show to head back to the Big Apple and get hitched to her boy, Jordan. It’s strange because Siobhan’s first performance was three days after I started with the tour. It’s weird to have been with the tour long enough that people who started when I did are leaving.

We’ll miss you Siobhan!

And so here I am in Denver. I will miss you, Park City. Thank you for the lovely peaceful two weeks.

….And Tallulah will miss her spiral staircase.

We're Performin' for the Mormons

Ski lift in Park City

Ski lift in Park City

Salt Lake City is a strange, strange place. 

We arrived here on Monday – I had the world’s most annoying fourteen-year-old girl sitting next to me on the plane. She basically spent most of the flight either lying in my lap taking pictures out the window (which I was sitting next to), or harassing my cat.

Other than that it was an uneventful travel day and I arrived in Park City, UT, where Ryan and I are renting a ski condo, at around 3:00pm. I love Park City. I am so glad that we decided to brave the 45-minute commute over the mountains to get to work, because Park City is beautiful. A ski town surrounded by mountains, it has definitely grown over the past ten years with being host to the Olympics and also the Sundance Film Festival. However, for me, who is used to living amidst the craziness of New York City, Park City seems very small-town in comparison, even though they do have an outlet mall and a Walmart.

Our cute Park City condo

Our cute Park City condo

Our cute Park City condo

Our cute Park City condo

The main drag in Park City is the appropriately named Main Street. It is lined with clothing boutiques, restaurants and bars and also the town ski lift. It’s pretty sleepy this time of year as we are right in between summer and ski season, but I still had a good time trolling the shops for stickers for my trunk and perhaps a new leather purse.

Main Street. Park City, UT

Main Street. Park City, UT

Main Street. Park City, UT.

Main Street. Park City, UT.

The load-in in Salt Lake City was a bit hairy. The first truck didn’t arrive from Portland until after 3:00pm on Monday and our advance truck, which is usually the first to arrive, got a flat tire and didn’t arrive until late Monday afternoon. The first truck to be unloaded ended up being the props truck, and the first item loaded into the building was not truss or deck or scenery, but Piper’s (one of our swings) personal trunk!

Despite the late start though, the show went up on time on Tuesday. The audiences here are strange. They are very quiet when any gay references are made and very vocal to any God references. It’s hard to tell whether they like us or not. Many of the audiences are very quiet, but then still give us a standing ovation. 

As I said above, Salt Lake City is a strange place. The streets here are enormous – like 6 lanes wide, and mostly run one-way. I was told it was to allow room for wagons in the olden days, but then I was also told yesterday that it is so that there is room for everyone to line the streets when Christ returns. Whatever the reason, the streets are enormous, and so in order to keep pedestrians safe, the city has flags on street corners that you have to hold when you cross so that you don’t get hit by a car. No joke. It’s actually quite amusing. Here’s some photos:

On Wednesday, Ryan and I stayed in Park City and walked around Main Street, and on Thursday we went for a long bike ride along an old railroad site, called “The Rail Trail”. The countryside was beautiful.

On Friday I had understudy rehearsal, but between rehearsal and the show that night, Ken, Karl and I went to the Greek Festival at the Greek Orthodox church down the street from the theater. It was really kitschy and fun, And the food was good!

Today I took a peek at Temple Square, which is near the theater. I was a bit scared that I was going to be solicited by the Mormons, so I didn’t actually go onto the grounds, but I did peek through the iron fence. The temple and grounds are very pretty and not nearly as flashy as I thought they would be. I was going to school in San Diego when the Mormon temple opened there – the one in San Diego is crazy, spaceship-looking  with white and gold spires that are lit up at night. You can see it from miles around. The one here in Salt Lake is very traditional, not at all like the one in San Diego.

In other show-related news, this week is the last week that Keith Reese, our head carpenter will be with us. He is leaving the tour to go home to Jacksonville to work with the symphony there. I will miss Keith a lot – he’s a great guy – he has always been so nice and generous to me. I’ll miss his smiling face! His replacement, Justin, seems like a really nice guy, though, and I’m sure the transition will be seamless, and I think it also might inject some new energy into the crew, which can only be a good thing with the crazy schedule coming up.

Mike Berg, Justin Klynsma, Keith Reese and Steve Ramondo

Mike Berg, Justin Klynsma, Keith Reese and Steve Ramondo

And finally, happy birthday to Vera, our head prop mistress. We had a girls’ night birthday party for her last night at Benihana’s. Here’s a photo of Vera and some of our beloved Spamasluts:

On Monday I head to Sunnyvale, CA to visit with the fam and see my friends. Pics of that trip next week!